Mayke’s exhibition opens – and the event on opening night

As announced in our prior post Mayke’ annual exhibition opened last night in Port Cogolin. For those not fortunate to be there with us I am posting two of her works, the rest will be on the internet shortly as Bruno’s gallery website is in transition.

La Salle de Bains – The Bathroom oil on canvas 100 x x100cm



La Chambre Rouge – The Red Bedroom oil on canvas 120 x 110cm


The exhibition will continue until August 9th at the Galerie Sens Intérieur at the Cité Lacustre de Port Cogolin. The Gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, but don’t worry if the exhibition dates don’t fit your schedule Mayke’s work is on permanent exhibition.

Now on to last night’s event.

Mayke Sassen and François Nasica opened the show with big bang last night. To the background music of Michael Kamen’ The Winter Guest’ they sparred on a canvas 2.4 X 1.1 meter at the Gallery Sens Intérieur.

Mayke opens a line of expression towards François

As the audience fell silent each occupied an extremity of the wall stretched canvas. Ignoring one another in this unrehearsed event, two cultures emerged with the same four oil bar colors: black, white, red and blue. Rapidly both made their marks and staked their plots.

As lines revealed intent and form colors emerged generating both volume and depth. The frenetic solo paces continued to the varying harmonies of the music, Mayke finally loosing the awareness of the audience behind begins to sing to their greater joy and surprise.

François responds to Mayke’s extended arm

For a while I wondered how these two very different forms of artistic expression might find a way to meld, then an arm with open fingers sprouted from Mayke’s emerging composition  with François responding soon after with the outline of a face looking to the other side of the canvas.

As they progress towards each other’s staked share of the canvas a few words are exchange between them, then a pause as they both back away from their focus, they look sideways at the other’s expression then begin giggling.

In the meantime Jacques Thomas is furiously commenting the on joust, explaining in detail the  respective moves of each artist (your wonderful commentary soon to be published).

Jacques Thomas silently expressing in words the action taking place on canvas

“So we are going to stop now?” asks François, Mayke responds “why not”. As quickly said as done she grabs a red oil bar and swaps places with Francois.

As Mayke adds her finishing touches while François pulls back for perspective



The ballet continues back and forth as each contributes to the others composition;

they furiously continue to swap positions; back and forth they build the bridges merging the two compositions into one.

As the music stops we all expect the artists to bow out, but no,

François sees a void between the two expressions and the opportunity to consummate the marriage while

Mayke brings her final touches to François’ composition.

The final touches

Finally backing away Mayke turns to him and says “shall we sign?”

Both proceed to the remaining open space on the bottom right.

Et voilà l’oeuvre est terminée and both artists breath a sigh of relief.


Thank you Isabelle Picard ( for contributing pictures to this post.

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